You feel compelled to engage and then shame when you do. You may try to hide your behavior to avoid judgment or it will get you into trouble. You spend a lot of time thinking about it. You argue with yourself over whether it’s really is “a problem”. You don’t understand how this happened and now you feel trapped. You don’t know who to turn to anymore. You may feel scared, confused, and that it’s complicated. You remember times when things were better, and tell yourself that someday they’ll be better again.
Porn. Alcohol. Drugs. Gambling. Stealing. Lying. Gaming. Sex. Shopping. Food.
Dependence can come in many forms.
The DSM makes a distinction between substance abuse disorders and behavioral addictions. However, both are characterized by a persistent increase in the behavior, unsuccessful efforts to cut down or quit, and a negative impact on other aspects of one’s life: work, family, social.
The art suggests someone who is beside themselves, trapped inside of their cravings and impulses. Does this feel like you?
We know that little blasts of dopamine from the reward systems in your brain rewired you by associating the behavior with a reward. The accumulation of rewards changed your physiology. How can we reverse this? Why did your brain need this kind of reward in the first place?
Many addicted brains have dysregulations in an area called the insula. Sometimes we pre-disposed to addictions because of traumatic events in our lives. LORETA neurofeedback, alpha-theta neurofeedback, talk therapy, and peer support are all ways of helping you take charge of your life again.